Maybe not. But then again, I use drugs despite losing big portions of my family to drugs and addiction.
I'm pretty detached.. I don't think it's really a bad thing. For me at least.
I just honestly don't see how feeling negative helps anything.
So why would I let myself?
I'd rather be proud of what good I can find that ashamed or upset about the bad I see way more often.
Kinda like, not pessimism just realism. Except not exactly ha.
I hope you don't think I'm marginalizing the losses though. And condolences for anyone affected of course.
Results 26 to 50 of 69
The Allies were balls-out about denazification in the days after the War, until they realized that A.) there were to damn many former Party members, and B.) they had the Soviets to worry about now, so let's shake on it.
Really, unless your folks were commandants in a camp or members of the Einsatzgruppen et al., I don't think it's worth worrying about. Besides, by the time you're their age their heirlooms will be worth a king's ransom should you feel obligated to get rid of them. For my part, as someone with a lifelong interest in WW II, I think your family's history is fascinating.
Uh, from someone who has in-laws who do not have a lot of older family down the line because of the Holocaust I'd say don't enjoy these relics. I frankly find this conversation fairly insensitive thus far.
I'd pass them onto a museum.
there's no need for OP to beat himself up over something he had no hand in. he certainly shows no pride in his ancestry. i don't think he would be "enjoying" the relics in any way that promotes what they represent, or brag about them. as horrible and monstrous the events they do represent, they are still substantial historical artifacts. that alone is enough to keep them, imo.
not to mention simply to remember. this is his ancestry. sticking his head in the sand won't make that go away.
There are so many millions of people of German descent with a history of Nazi activity. I don't really see this as a bad thing - if you were a German male at the time you were apart of the Nazi regime whether you liked it or not. If you found out that your grandfather was the one loading up the gas chambers or filling in mass graves, I could see that as a definite "dark period" in your family. But simply being an SS officer or a member of the Hitler youth shouldn't warrant any shame or guilt on your part.
People are so sensitive. I understand that there are memories that aren't pretty, and that there was a lot of really horrendous deeds done that a lot of people would rather not think about. But the fact is that nobody is going to sweep it under the rug for the sake of your feelings.
Bigotry and hate and violence and ill-will exist. Nobody needs to sugar-coat the truth, and if you take offense to something, the simple solution is to not involve yourself In the situation. And if you must be involved, accept it as what it is.
Holocaust victims are neither the first nor the last demographic to be subject to denegration and hateful attacks, for no reason. If the world is too dark and scary and unpleasant to think about, you're in for a shitty life.
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
If my family were Nazis, well to be honest I would find it interesting and would want to learn more about how they felt about things back then. I think you should obviously keep the memorabilia, it is a part of your family history and that's to be respected. You sound unsure of how to feel about it all. But you can't really control the past or your feelings about it. It is what it is.
Would you all say the same thing about whips or shackles if your family owned them because of their slaves? I'm seriously curious. I'd still give it to a museum.
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
- cesspool, ny
Albert Speer, the infamous Nazi architect who was widely considered to become Hilter's successor, is a fairly distant cousin of mine. Who cares? I am not guilty of anything; nor are you.
i am interested in history, both the good and the bad. hell, i'd feel the same way about actual used implements of death (weapons/execution tools/torture devices). as abhorent as these things are, they hold historical value.
edit: and modern weaponry doesn't interest me one bit.
Last edited by L2R; 19-09-2012 at 06:37.
I don't think that's a fair comparison; those were direct instruments of inflicting pain or humiliation, while paraphernalia's relation to the subject (IMO) is more oblique. Someone brandishing an antique pistol that may have been used to kill innocents, or a sew-on Star of David--that would be unpalatable to me.
That said, I do understand your feelings to some degree. In one of my college classes a few years ago, I was lucky enough to hold a string of (reputedly) authentic "slave beads", which are exactly what they sound like: Cheap, European-made glass beads that were traded with Africans for slaves and other goods in huge quantities. Interesting as I found it as a historian, the thought that some real, live human being may have once been sold into a life of abject misery for something so petty made it utterly repugnant to me, personally, regardless of its historical worth.
i would be interested to read more on bel and amor's emotive reactions. i honestly don't share that, the student historian in me wins without contest. any insight in the trigger to those reactions would be appreciatied if either of you don't mind.
such things i wouldn't keep on display or brag about.
The BBc recently ran a Nazi season, and I caught this documentary about what it's like to be a relative of one of Hitlers top 5 men, Hoess, Himmler etc. It was really moving and the pain, guilt and shame still run very deep, obviously. Hoess's grandson particularly was struggling to deal with his grandfathers actions, quite painful to watch.
This is only a teaser but worth watching to get a tiny insight into some of the complex issues.
I'm sure if you dug around you would be able to find the whole programme. It was compulsive & really thought provoking viewing.
Last edited by badandwicked; 19-09-2012 at 11:19.
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
I wouldn't be ashamed at all. In fact I find it fascinating. I have an old ancestor that was a pirate in the South China Sea during the late Qing dynasty. Raped and pillaged and fought the British apparently. Got beheaded when he got caught by the British royal navy (which is funny because my grandfather served in the British Royal Navy lol).
Thing is I find it pretty cool as a amateur historian that I had an ancestor who lived through the Opium war and fought on an old war junk. Even though he probably committed horrible crimes against the people he attacked I still find it kind of cool. I'm not proud of his achievements, but I am 'proud' of his status as a feared pirate.
The Waffen-SS were bad asses. Taking pride in their abilities and training is different from taking pride in their "achievements." The German military was so well trained it is hard not to admire their abilities even if they were serving an evil purpose (I personally find their uniforms very sharp, probably the best dressed army that ever existed IMO). I personally find WWII history fascinating and owning a part of that history would be cool.
I have a Bachelor's in history. OMG I should be stripped of it, right?
Anyway, what really sinks in my stomach is when I was at my engagement party and my aunt was asking my mother-in-law about her grandmother's kin. My MOL's response was 'oh honey, they're all dead.' It's hard to swallow that a large majority of your extended family is dead because a psycho decided that their 'type' were not desirable. I understand the people in the SS were human and I understand not all of them hated Jews nor necessarily knew the extent of the punishment (what would they do if they did?). However, at the same time I'm not going to focus on the Nazi's 'sharp' dress over the starved, brutalized family of my husband.
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
forgive and forget.
^ Forgive, but never forget.
OP, hang on to the stuff. If you do get rid of it, make sure it goes some place decent like a museum.
04-10-2012 14:18Originally Posted by !!4iV4HF9R34g
Originally Posted by L2R
I think some people need to look at the fact that historical relics don't only represent its own specific past but also everything else that was going on during that time. Someone might look at Nazi memorabilia and see the great things happening around the world like bringing down Nazi Germany and its allies, saving innocent lives from the destruction of war, the commendatory of the brave individuals who worked together to stay alive in the midst of death all around them, etc., when of course there was things unspeakable happening at the same time. Yeah it wasn't what you'd consider a good time in history, but there were bits and pieces of what was going on that were truly representative of "goodness", even with the unimaginable pain that countless people endured or died from.
One could also see the sorrow behind many German soldiers or workers forced into involvement with the war, contributing to the Nazi war plan, who wanted to be anywhere else but there, or were completely made unaware of the atrocities taking place. That maybe harder to think about if they had a direct effect to your relatively closely related ancestors, but it could help give a bigger and broader imagine of those who may have been forced into an unthinkable situation against their will. Potentially people who don't as often get the understanding or benefit of the doubt that they were dragged under the bus, often ending up dead for something they wanted nothing but to be as far away as they could. Not all of the Germans were bad people, so lets not view all Germans remaining German citizens in that era as despicable people.
i'm with amor. give it to a museum or a university. is it really a 'historical relic' when there are still active neo nazi/white power/anti semitic groups operating in this country? the world, for that matter?
Last edited by Volundr; 12-10-2012 at 05:50.